Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Wonder of Bananas

Nom nom...
I like bananas. As far as fruits go, I'd say they're like my best friend that I've known my whole life. I remember loving banana baby food when I was little. Bananas are such a cool, portable fruit. Mind you, they're not my favorite (I reserve that title for purple plums and pineapple). But I've eaten bananas my whole life and they've never done me any harm.

One of my earlier memories in life is from the time that my younger brother cut his thumb or finger (I can't remember) because he wanted to use a knife to cut his banana. I must have been 4, which would have made him 2 or 3. I'm pretty sure he even had to get stitches. I barely remember the incident, I just remember being alone with my brother in the kitchen when it happened. How he got the knife, I have no idea.

Where am I going with this? Where am I ever going, really? Muffins, that's where. I love muffins. Muffins make me feel not so guilty because they're a breakfast food, so surely they must be healthy. In my mind, breakfast food is always healthy because it is breakfast. Breakfast is by far my favorite meal and if I had to only eat breakfast for the rest of my life, I would be okay with that. That is why I can say it is my favorite. I don't really like claiming a favorite anything because part of me is terribly superstitious and believes that somehow choosing a favorite might curse me to be stuck with that one thing for the rest of my life. As in, choosing purple plums as my favorite fruit might mean that I would never be able to eat another pineapple because the universe will take all other fruits away from me, or maybe just make me severely allergic to all other fruits. Silly, I know. But superstition was never really considered rational to begin with.

Back to the muffins! This past weekend I made Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins from my Baked cookbook. I had a bunch of over-ripe bananas and a hankering for some muffins, so the decision was pretty easy to make. Without any further blathering, I give you the recipe.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 lrg egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cup about three-quarters full. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Move the muffin pan to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let them finish cooling on the cooling rack.


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